tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN July 15, 2014 2:30am-4:31am EDT
imagine being able to have the companies who produce these 3-d printers, at no cost to the postal service, put those printers in various locations in the postal service and have opportunities where they're able to fax, if you will, the model of a shoe and they want that to get to a particular customer in an hour. the postal service says, great, we'll get that there within an hour. there are so many different things and opportunities. the moment i was nominated i had the coo of sysco, senior executive at microsoft, various people from different technology companies talk to me about things they would like to consider and to talk to the u.s. postal service about but haven't had an opportunity to get in. this is -- i mean, this is just right in the area that i would love to have an opportunity to help the postal service evolve and do a number of different innovative things over the course of the next decade.
>> did you say fax someone a pair of shoes? >> yeah. absolutely. absolutely. the technology exists. it's there. >> i -- let me just say before you speak, vicky. i don't know if they have like the boy has a committee or subcommittee on innovation, but if you get confirmed, mr. bennett, i sure hope they put you on that committee. that would be good. thanks. miss kennedy. >> i understand there are athletic shoe manufacturers that are going to be taking orders for athletic shoes with your specifications and doing 3-d printing of your shoes in your exact size and with your specs and they're going to want to distribute them. the distribution network that exists right now for the united states postal service is an incredible asset. that's something that i believe we have to maintain to be able to take advantage of that kind of innovation, to be able to
reach people. when you talk about doing what we do, that's what the postal service does. it knows how to deliver. it has an infrastructure and that's why one of the wonderful things in the last few months of waiting for this hearing is that we've all gotten to know each other, all of the nominees here. >> how did you -- if you don't mind, how have you all gotten to know each other? >> we've had lunch. it's a great thing. talking. regular lunch, talking, e-mailing. so we've gotten to know each other. >> facebook? >> no. no, not facebook, but it's been a very good thing. you know, collegiality and sharing ideas. it's been a very positive thing. so if we're confirmed, i think we'll hit the ground running. and, you know, talking about, you know, what's out there in the future, being able to take advantage of that kind of innovation. one of the things that steve crawford just said in his opening statement though is will the regulatory structure
restrict your being able to take advantage of innovation in other ways? there might be some 18-year-old in a garage right now who's coming up with some great new innovation. will the postal service be able to take advantage of that or will it not? i believe we need to be nimble and able to take advantage of innovations that we don't know about as we're sitting at this table right now and be reg gu la tore rally nimble while building on the strength. >> that's very encouraging testimony. i want to turn, if i cohere for a little bit, to the pricing for postage. as you know, the postal service current inflation base postal rate structure was set in place seven years ago. and before the beginning of the drastic drop in mail volume that continues today. you saw that, dr. miller,
firsthand. late last year the postal regulatory commission allowed the postal service to temporarily increase its pricing for postage above that normally allowed to make up for the losses in mail volume attributable to the great recession. an increase is a 4%. we call it an exigent rate increase. the prc said let's put that in place interim, a period of time. dr. coburn and i in our proposal to the committee said let's make that the new base and then we'll worry about other increases as we go or not increases to go as we go forward. in light of the postal services current financial difficulties, let me just ask, again i don't want to pick on you, dr. miller, but let me just start with you. your thoughts on the postal rate structure as we have it currently and how it would be under our bill. >> as i said in my response to
question from the committee, i think that the inflation adjusted cap needs to be liberalized a great deal, if not eliminated entirely because it just means that the postal service will start searching for ways to change, alter the rate structure to try to raise additional revenue and that further perverts the structure prices. there's an analogy with how the railroads performed under the interstate commerce act and squeezing revenue here and there. give the postal service the discretion to make rate changes. there is a natural limit to how much a postal service would want to increase certain rates because of the falloff in volume so it's not as though it's going to change the stamp price from 49 cents or 55 cents to $1.80 or
something like that. it really is an impediment. there are other ways in which the postal rate commission, despite having some very good people who work there who are, you know, just as publicly spirited as we are where it inevitably slows down the process of introducing innovations and changes and experiments of the sort that steve was talking about. so we need to have that kind of freedom to have the postal regulatory system intervene when they see a real danger of the postal service violating the law or about to violate the law. that and you've addressed that in s 1486 and i hope that provision prevails in any conference bill. >> thank you, sir. mr. cartwright? >> thank you, mr. chairman. i agree with dr. miller's
analysis. i think the mail volume, especially for the standard mail, is so sensitive to prices that the postal service is not about to try to jack up that price. you know, the notion of a monopoly position is -- it's not as much, it's not as hard a monopoly as some monopolies are. i applaud s 1486 for the reforms in the price cap. i'm on record in previous writings for lifting the price cap and making adjustments. i think the postal service needs that flexibility. i think the postal regulatory commission has a role to play in reviewing the reasonableness of those, but to do it ahead of time is just, as vicky kennedy was saying, we need to be nimble enough, the postal service does, to make the adjustments. fuel costs can go up. we saw surcharges put on fed ex and ups when there was a spike
in gasoline prices. the postal service doesn't have that flexibility. i think they need it. i think it's fine to review it after the fact and i think the new legislation has that exactly right. >> thank you, sir. mr. brennan? >> i won't repeat what my colleagues have said, but i do agree with the provision in s 1486 relative to rates. one of the things that came up in the session with your staff last thursday was there was a comment in the private sector that you can -- you know, you don't have any caps on pricing. well, that's really not true, i mean, because if you price yourself out of the market and you don't sell anything, then you're out of business. i think the postal service needs the same level of flexibility that you have in the private sector. the kind of flexibility that will allow us to be market driven. in fact, when that happens i think oftentimes prices ind up going down because you're not driving volume up and you end up driving prices down and you increase value in that
institution and increasing value for the american public. i agree with that particular section. i agree with my colleagues. they have more flex bimt. >> -- flexibility. >> at the urging of mr. coburn, dr. coburn has had an incredible career. he was a very successful business person. did he that for a number of years. he decided i'd like to be a doctor. he became an ob-gyn. very successful there. given birth to -- delivered thousands of ban babies. not given birth to them. he said, i think i'd like to be a congressman. he became a congressman from oklahoma. did that for a while. he said, no, maybe i'd like to be a senator. he's done that now for ten years. he has a signal he will step down two years early before the end of his term this year. god only knows what he is he'll do next. maybe he's going to land the plane. he should be here before too much longer.
miss kennedy, same line of thought we have. let me just say before you -- one of the things that dr. coburn really insisted on, pushed for when we introduced our initial bill a year ago this past august, he basically said the postal service is not foolish, not stupid, they're not deaf to the marketplace. let's get the flexibility to set rates. if they charge too much, customers will stop using them. and if they eventually find a sweet spot. in the end we didn't do that. there was huge push back for the original proposal as you can imagine from the mailing industry, printers and so forth. we thought we had found a pretty good medium here with the exigent rate increase becoming the baseline and having the cpi cap going forward. then in 2017 the opportunity to revisit this. if you're on the board of
governors you'll have an opportunity to participate in that. miss kennedy? >> thank you. as a general rule, i believe in flexibility and being able to be nimble. on the specific issue of rates i also believe in being cautious and not answering something that i am not as deeply familiar with as my colleagues here. it's something i would like to understand in a deeper and fuller way. it sounds great. i think what they've said makes a lot of sense to me but i'd like to understand it more. i understand. just a little bit of background. what we've done with the exigent rate case, folks that are nonprofit, i think under -- before the exigent rate case the cost of mailing an envelope is about 10 cents and with the exigent rate case it goes up i think a penny to 11 cents. for folks that are mailing magazines i think the price is about 27 cents and with the exigent rate case becoming the
baseline it comes up to 28 cents. i think i might be wrong, but -- correct me if i'm wrong, john, but for catalogs the price is 45, 46 cents and it would go by 2 cents. it's not -- there is not an outrageous increase. it strengthens the economy. >> i'm familiar with what the provisions are. that's not -- that was not the issue. it's just the whole underlying philosophy and theory behind them being set that i wanted to be -- >> okay. good enough. dr. miller, did you want to say something else? no? all right. i think i mentioned in my opening statement today the board of governors, postmaster general announced a week or so ago that if we don't do something, if we don't do our job here in the senate and the house to pass hopefully thoughtful, effective postal reform legislation this year, put it in place signed by the president, then they will feel
compelled to go ahead and take a next step in closing mail processing plants. it wasn't that long ago we had 600, few more than 600. we're down today, gosh, six or seven years ago i recall, we're down today to about 325. the postal service is saying unless we do our job that they may be compelled with no help from congress and the president to close another 80 or so starting at the beginning of next calendar year. from our point of view, in our legislation we have a stipulation that says two years after the inactment the postal service may move forward to reduce the number of mail processing centers. we had a similar provision from two years ago, 62 senators, mostly democrats voted for, some republicans. i would like each of you to give
your thoughts to closing plants. what we tried to do is lay the groundwork so that the postal service can pay off the obligations, recognize the liabilities and pay them down. have money for capital investment, have money for pay races, have money for pay raises. have money in the bank when all is said and done ten years from now. but i'm not interested in seeing a lot of additional plants close or any additional plants close, i just want to make sure that the postal service is profitable and viable. dr. miller, if you could just lead us off on this, i'd appreciate it please. >> mr. chairman, first let me say that i have not done an analysis of these 82 and the specifics. some may apply to the points i'm making and some not. my impression based on my work on the board of governors ending two years ago or three years ago is that a number of mail processing facilities are there and have not -- that under
ordinary market circumstances would have been relocated, would have been changed but for the fact that there would be the impediments from congress, displeasure from members of congress, restraints put in appropriations bills, nimby provisions have not been changed. that leads interestingly to a perverted outcome because when you think there's going to be a change you want to make as many changes as you can on all -- in one fell swoop. so it is just an inefficient system unless you give the postal service some freedom to streamline and rationalize its logistical network, you're going to get these back and forth, and i think inefficient decision making about these various installations. >> okay. thank you. mr. coffman. >> mr. chairman, i largely agree with jim's points. i think that the devil's in the
details here. it's not for the board to dig into them. it's for the board to set criteria and policy. but i think, you know, in general the postal service has been right. it needed to consolidate some of its facilities. it's already done a great deal. whether it needs to do more or not i'm not capable of sitting here and saying yes or no, but -- and each time they do that's painful for somebody somewhere, but as jim says, you just are pushing these problems to the future. automation has made it easier to do a lot of this high volume mail processing so on balance without trying to avoid commitment, i would just say this -- it would be premature for me given my level of understanding of the issue to say anything about the next round of closings and consolidations of processing centers or plants but i do think that it was appropriate to make
some moves along those directions over the last few years. >> all right. thank you. mr. bennett please? >> sure. chairman, i am very familiar with the issue. i'm not familiar with the details as to whether or not these specific plants should or should not be closed, however, what i would say though is that i think in this environment where we do have this incredible infrastructure that is in place, whether or not that facility is operationally efficient or not, the rest of the facilities that you're talking about, i think you have to be very careful when you start taking away some of your assets to make sure that those assets couldn't drive future revenue. one of the things that i think that a lot of major corporations make a big mistake, particularly the very large ones, is when you start trying to cut costs. because you're so big you start looking at your costs in silos
and you don't think about how those costs impact revenue someplace else. and so you really have to be careful to make sure that you consider the whole prior to doing these individual silo cuts. so i don't have an answer to your questions other than if i were looking at this more carefully, that's what i would do. i would consider how does it impact the whole enterprise versus just the silos that we often look at in budget cuts. >> thank you. miss kennedy? >> i echo the concerns michael bennett just set forth. i worry that i don't think you can cut your way to prosperity. i think you have to look at what the long-term implications are of closing these facilities. i don't know what those particular facilities are. i also worry about the impact on the universal service obligation. i don't know what it means for rural communities. i don't know -- i believe that universal service doesn't mean universal service some day, it means timely universal service.
so what delays will happen by that many consolidations and closings? i think that matters because the postal service is a life line for so many communities, and i think that's something that needs to be looked at. and i think you also have to be poised to take advantage with this terrific infrastructure that's in existence for innovation, poised to take advantage of the next great opportunity. i think all of those issues need to be considered. >> i'll probably ask you to answer this next question for the record but i may ask you to comment very, very briefly. it relates to the potential closure of additional mail processing centers. the question i have, think about it outloud for a minute each maybe, is the service delivery standards. as some of you will recall, it wasn't that long ago that the postal service had delivery standards and delivered the mail and one day, sort of like the same metropolitan region,
geographic region one day outside if you couldn't do that, the postal service was expected to deliver within two days. the mailer and the mailee are in the same 48 contiguous states, it was one, two, three. at our encouragement the postal service have changed the standard of -- if you will, the standard of delivery. it's gone from one, two, three day to a modified one. if you're in the same metropolitan area, if you live in one side of washington, d.c., i don't, i live in delaware. i mail it to you today, you should get it tomorrow. that's modified one. if we're outside the metropolitan area, you might get it, you may not. modified one, two, three. and i like -- i think the postal service would like to go to two, three. two day even in the same metropolitan area could be in one but two would be the
expectation and then three. in terms of what's appropriate for us, i'm not comfortable with the postal service saying this is how many mail processing centers we should have. maybe with the involvement of the postal regulatory commission and the board of governors and the postal service is to consider whether modified one, two, three days of service is appropriate, one, two, three is better or two, three is just fine. i welcome any comments you have in this regard. miss kennedy, i picked on dr. miller all afternoon. >> my first thought of that is if we have declining first class mail volume to have more delayed first class mail delivery doesn't make sense. i mean, if possible, i personally would like to see us have the fast er faster standar delivery. that concerns me. you would have fewer people
mailing letters. >> just off the cuff i think the faster form of delivery would be better. it is the postal service. this is a service organization. every company that's focused on service is focused on how to provide a better service to the customer than somebody else and having deliveries two, three days after you've put it in the post is probably not a good way to make sure your customers are happy. if you have customers happy on one end, then they're going to want to use you for something else. so i would focus on how do i make my customers most happy and i would think that would be more of a faster service to help my business. >> okay. thanks. mr. crawford? >> what strikes me when i think about this question, mr. chairman, is my daughter who's 14 lives on her iphone when she's not at camp, and she finds e-mail to be slow and cumbersome. instant messaging is so much quicker, she tells me. to me, e-mail's just so rapid
it's incredible. but the new generation is accustomed and expects what they want to arrive on the door, you know, within minutes and instant sort of gratification. we worry about that in some respects, but in other respects it's a tribute to the new communications and transportation capabilities that we've developed. and given that shifting culture, those expectations for speed and on time delivery i'm reluctant. you know, you have to look at the economics of all of this and the tradeoffs and costs, but i hate to see the postal service give up one, two, three. >> all right. thank you. dr. miller? >> mr. chairman, two things. one, as i recollect, the rationale for this change in service standards was developed after i left. i don't know the details of it
and i hesitate to answer without having time to analyze the data. second, there is a tradeoff obviously. you can't do all things for all people and you have to make some choices here. service standards should be an input into the question of plant and logistical rationalization seems to me. i just don't have -- i don't have my hands on the information necessary. >> i understand. >> everything else equal, there's something nice about having a -- as you characterize, one, two, three kind of standard and you would deviate that only for good reason, but i don't -- whether there's a good reason there or not, i just simply cannot say at this time. >> all right. thank you. i think i mentioned earlier on saturday i was home for a little bit and about 5:00 in the afternoon our letter carrier came and delivered our mail on
saturday. and it turned out there were some things in the mail that we actually very much wanted to receive. it's not always the case, but it certainly was on that saturday. part of the debate that surrounds postal reform these days is should we continue to have 6-day a week service except when we have a holiday that mixes in, like july 4th it was on a friday maybe. or should we allow postal service at some point in time to go from six to five-day a week service. when we passed our legislation two years ago, 62 senators voted for it, but the -- in that bill you may recall there was a provision that said the postal service could eventually go from six to five day service if they chose to, but you have to wait for at least two -- they have to wait for two years after enactment of our -- of that legislation. well, that legislation if it had been enacted, that means the postal service would have been free this year to go from six to five-day a week service in 2014
and to do the same thing in terms of closing additional mail processing centers. in this year, 2014. the bill didn't get enacted. now we're grappling with the same issues. standards delivery and six or five-day a week service. we've taken a different approach as you may know this year in respect to our legislation from six to five. for years i have sat here with our labor friends from the postal union especially to the letter carriers and urged them to work with the postal service to find a way to continue to deliver mail on saturday and with a wage agabenefit structur that makes them as competitive that doesn't lose as much money. we were told going from six to five day a week service would save $5 billion a year and we're told now that that -- because of the changes in the wage benefit structure that have been negotiated between the postal
service and the letter carriers, that that's no longer $3 billion savings. it's 1.5 to $2 billion a year which makes the postal service -- they lose money but there's a tradeoff between service delivery and labor costs. our legislation, we took a different approach, dr. coburn and i have brought to the committee and the committee has reported out. our legislation says we're not going to say to the postal service for two years you're forbidden to go to five day a week service. what we say is let's look at a volume trigger and postal service last year i think delivered about 150 -- 158 billion pieces of mail give or take. what we've put in is a volume trigger that says if that number drops below 140 billion pieces of mail, then the postal service
would be free to go from six to five day a week delivery. didn't have to. they're losing money. they're making money hand over fist, maybe they wouldn't want to. maybe they're continuing to find ways to make that internet, digital connection, to make money. the reason why we decided to take this approach to use a volume trigger instead of somebody going to five-day a week service in two years is because we want to realign the incentives. we want to incentive advise postal employees to work harder, sell products. if you happen to be on a rural route or happen to be in a post office or a town or city or community, but we want them to be incentivized to sell harder and sell more. we want to incentive advise the mailers, whatever they happen to be mailing, whether it's catalog folks, magazines, we want to incentive advise them to mail more in order to keep the six day a week delivery if that's what you want. what we put in our bill two
years ago we said you can't do that as opposed to some volume trigger today. what do you like about it or not. please, dr. miller. >> mr. chairman, as i said in my response to questions from the committee, i think the postal service made a mistake in trying to obtain permission or first stated it would accomplish this without congressional acquiescence but then tried to obtain permission to go from six day to five-day delivery. i think they should have asked for delivery flexibility. there are a lot of places where six daze day delivery makes eminently good sense. some places seven day delivery makes good sense. other places five day delivery, other places still two or three day delivery per week. the postal service needs to have that kind of flexibility. i think the postal service can
provide what any reasonable person would say is universal service to some places in america at two days or three days where the costs are just extraordinary of doing six days a week. the postal service did couple its proposal with provision that the post office would remain open on saturdays as some were expecting a bill or payment or box of medicine or something like that, they could come to the post office and get it. i live on a lane. i have to go 1/3 or half a mile every day to pick up my mail at my mailbox. a lot of people go pick up their mail at the postal -- post office. so, you know -- and i know a will the of people are very remote locations, et cetera, et cetera, especially rural communities, more rural than mine, but i think with some flexibility the postal service
could inconvenience a few people somewhat but save a lot of money, money that is being provided by other postal ratepayers. for the most part what we're talking about in terms of the postal service's revenue base is not money from the taxpayer, it's money from other postal patrons. they are paying for the losses that are ascribed to service that is just economically prohibited. >> all right. thank you very much for that insight. mr. crawford please? >> just to add to those very thoughtful comments, jim, that i see it as a last resort. when i was on the transition team the volume was 200 billion pieces. 158 billion this year from second quarter results. it will be 151 million --
billion pieces or so in 2014. that 240 -- we're approaching some of the thresholds that are in the bill. but what has struck me since i was here two years ago, and i learned this from the reform legislation that you and dr. coburn have introduced, is the potential savings in retirement and health care expenses which exceed even what i imagined when i had done earlier examinations. and i think in light of the really large possibilities there, that it may not be necessary to go to five-day delivery. i think jim makes a good point about it depends on where you are and what makes sense. i do believe the postal service should have the flexibility. it would be better if it weren't just legislated. they had that capability, but at the same time as a governor i
view any reduction in service, it's a little like one, two, three. and service standards highly regrettable and should only be taken as a last resort if we can show, and i think the numbers show that there would be some savings, as you say, 2 or 3 billion a year. that's not chicken feed, but next to what we're talking about in the health care and retirement expenses it may not be necessary. and for a lot of people who deliver catalogs i get my "economist" most weeks on a saturday. that would be a loss to have to wait for monday or tuesday on a holiday week. i would like to see us keep six-day delivery but to have the flexibility to reduce if we need to. >> all right. thank you very much. mr. bennett please. >> i think six-day delivery is
something that is a foundation at the post office and that people expect that. i think that customer service would probably almost demand it in most cases, however, that said, i think that this is -- i think we have to be careful to try and have a one size fits all fix for all the various problems. as jim pointed out, that sometimes there may be some areas where five-day delivery is just fine and some area where seven-day delivery is most important, but at the end of the day i think we've got to be very, very careful not to try to fix the -- i have a one size fits all kind of solution to the various challenges. this is just about the financial issues. i think as stephen crawford said, there are other ways that you've included in the bill to address the major financial
issues. so just to make that change for the purpose of financials, as big of a savings as it would have, i'm not sure that that's the right thing. and, again, if you go back and think about the model i talked about earlier where you've got these various silos of costs, you start driving costs down in one area, you may end up driving costs up in some other areas. ending saturday delivery while we have this trigger of 140 billion pieces of mail before you can drop saturday delivery, if you drop it and all of a sudden your pieces of mail starts to fall further. so the savings impact could end up causing revenue losses in other areas that we haven't thought about. so i think that there needs to be careful analysis in that area to look at what the impact is across the enterprise. >> thank you. miss kennedy? >> i really support what my colleagues said. i really don't need to repeat it, only to say that i think we
need to project a postal service that's working and that is available for people to want to use and any time, and i really reiterate strongly what steve crawford said, any time you have a cutback in service in any way, whether it's delivery standards, whether it's daily delivery, six days a week, i think it's a black eye. i think it hurts us. and we want people to feel that the postal service is excellent in every way, that the mail when they drop that letter in the mailbox when it's picked up by their postal carrier, that it's going to get where they want it to go, that it's going to get there in a timely fashion, that they can rely on the united states postal service. that's the image we want to project. that's what we want to see happen. i would love for us to find other ways to keep our finances robust and to maintain the postal service.
>> thank you. i just want to reflect on this for a moment. the legislation that was reported out of this committee a couple of months ago allows the postal service to consider whether or not to reducer advice from six to five with a number of caveats, including post office has to be open on the weekends. people have to have access to their mailboxes and that kind of thing. certain kinds of items still had to be delivered, including pharmaceuticals, medication, that type of thing. but we at the encouragement of senator levin, we didn't use a straight trigger $148 billion trigger to say when the mail volume drops below 140 billion, even if that's next year, you can go to five-day delivery. we said you can't do it before 2007.
effectively the postal board of governors, if you see it plum t plummet, i don't think you will with the economy coming back. but the effect of what we've put in our legislation at the earliest, we could go from six to five in 2000 i think 18. we'll see how it works out. the challenge for us, the postal service and the employees is to figure out how to get more people to use the service. how do we make saturday delivery? maybe not something that loses $1.8 billion a year, actually make it profitable? that's the key. how do we do that? as we figure out with the digital intersection figured out, mr. bennett if you get on the committee and the board of governors, i know you're going to help us do that.
i think that's a challenge for us. how do we do this, take this legacy organization and make money with it and do so without encroaching inappropriate ways on the private sector. we're still hoping dr. coburn's going to join us. he's flying in from tulsa. you know the old song, jean p pitney song, only 24 hours from tulsa. doesn't take quite that long to get here from tulsa. his flight has been delayed somewhat. fritz, do you have any updates for us? all right.
>> i have some bad news for you. that's dr. coburn's flight has been delayed further and he's not going to be able to be here until 8:00 so we'll have dinner and you guys can get to know each other even better. no, i think we're going to wrap it up and knowing dr. coburn he'll have plenty of questions for the record. if he hasn't had a chance to meet with you, my guess is he would want to do so. try to make time to do that. he's very thoughtful, creative person. he's saddled with not very good staff -- no, he's blessed with good staff, so am i, they keep us out of trouble most of the time. i -- well, a lot of times what i'll do with a hearing if we have an opportunity, we're invited to make an opening statement and i thought you had very good ones and sometimes when we have time i like to give our witnesses a chance to give a closing statement.
not five minutes. just sort of reflect on what you've heard, what you've said and what others have said. some questions that were asked. but if you would just take a moment, think about it. a closing statement, take a minute or so to do that. i'll make a couple of comments and then we'll call it a day. miss kennedy, would you like to lead off? >> sure. thank you so much, mr. chairman. thank you for giving us the opportunity to be here today, and thank you for your very thoughtful questions. i think the challenges are there, but i think they're great opportunities. the united states postal service is a tremendously vital asset for this nation, and i look forward to having the opportunity to serve and if confirmed i look forward to getting my -- serving with these magnificent gentlemen here to my right and having a great
continuing conversation with you and with dr. coburn and the rest of the members of the committee. thank you very much. >> thank you, ma'am. david michael bennett. >> all right. >> from charlotte, north carolina. >> absolutely. this is a really neat process. thank you so much for the opportunity to be here. >> confirmation hearings aren't normally this much fun. >> i've had a good time. >> sometimes they can be downright -- as dr. miller knows, very awful. >> i've had a great time. >> it's been a good one. >> more of a comment on my personality than anything else. this is a real opportunity i look forward to having a chance to tackle. the problems that the postal service has and that we talked about at our lunches are really challenging, but they're the same kinds of problems that other businesses have faced for the -- for the last decade. ibm transformed themselves. sysco's having to transform themselves now. company after -- at&t. company after company, they've had to transform themselves.
they've come out on the other side better than they were before. i think we have an opportunity to take this 200 plus-year-old organization and make it better than it was before. do some things that are different. i mean, maybe in a year we're not even talking about the number of pieces of mail that we've delivered. maybe we're talking about the number of shoes or the number of other items that have been faxed that we've had a chance to deliver. i mean, so they're -- the world is changing and we have an opportunity, i think, now at this critical juncture, we have an opportunity to take the most unique organization in the world in terms of logistics and moving things around and make it something really special for the american people. i look forward to the opportunity and i hope i get the opportunity to serve on the board of governors and help make that happen. >> thank you. i hope you will, too. thank you. dr. crawford, not mr. crawford, the closing statement i want to
recognize dr. crawford. >> thank you. >> i kept asking my staff, is he mr. or a dr. they told me you were dr. all those times i called you mr., i apologize. dr. crawford. >> i'll take this opportunity to say, you know, i was here two years ago almost to the day for my hearing the first time around and 1789 -- s 1789 had actually passed in the senate. since then my wife has said to me this classic question that we've all been asked, why do you want to do this? the board can't fix what's wrong with the postal service, congress seems to be reluctant to act, and to be perfectly frank, i had -- i had to ask myself, does this make good sense? and it has been so gratifying to
come back this time because s 1486 has been reported out of the committee and i have -- i am just so impressed by the changes that it -- that it holds forth and am hopeful enough that those will -- something like those will be enacted that i find myself almost sharing michael david bennett's enthusiasm. and the fact that there are four of us together here now with such an interesting background, i have to confess that i, too, and it's not like a cynical old professor and army officer, but i, too, am enormously enthusiastic about this opportunity because of the legislation that's underway and because of the team that's here
together. so thank you >> you're welcome. dr. crawford thank you for your willingness to take this on, yet again. we'll try to get it done this time. okay. thank you. dr. miller, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate the opportunity of being here today, and i appreciate also the opportunity of a prospect of serving with these three individuals whom, as i say, i've gotten to know and respect. i think great things could come from the postal services being led by them, as well as the current governors. i concur with what dr. crawford has just said about the two legislative vehicles. i think the current one is much improved over the former one. a matter which i gave rise, i think, to some lack of cohesion last two years ago.
i think mr. bennett, michael, summarized things well, and made the case for something i have been saying, and all along, and that is i think the postal service really needs the freedom, the flexibility, to operate like a business. those businesses that have remade themselves have been able to do that because they had the freedom to experiment and to do things of a sort that steven mentioned earlier. all along we have to be cog nizant of the public service mandate the postal service has. as articulated by mrs. kennedy. i think we can do that. i think working with congress, both houses, as you know, the other body has not come with a
proposal that is quite similar to the one that you have, there's more work to be done. i think, though, that the prospects are reasonably good. because the situation for the postal service is so dire. and i congratulate you on the progress that this committee has made, and i urge your prompt attention to the nominations and to the prospect of a full board operating in high gear. thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you all. it was a wonderful, wonderful closing statements. let me add a couple things. one humorous. one more serious. not long ago my wife and i were driving by a cemetery. she's always after me to wrup date our wills. and i have no intention of dying any time soon, but she said oh, we need to update our wills.
and one day she said to me driving by a cemetery she said you ever think about what you'd like to have like on your tombstone? what would you like to have on your tombstone? and i thought about it for a moment. i said, you know, i have. and i think i would like to have these words. return to sender. return to sender. and it's not just a great song. but a pretty good -- pretty good something to put on a tombstone. fits nicely, too, i think. the leaders are many things. you've always been leaders throughout your lives. leaders, i think to think of leaders are humble not haughty. we lead by examples. not do as i say, but do as i do. i like to think as leaders as
those who have the courage to keep out of step when everyone else is marching to the wrong tune. leaders are also purveyors of hope. leaders are purveyors of hope. this is not a hopeless situation. this is actually quite a hopeful situation. i've been up here drinking water, sometimes have to be careful not to drink too much. but this is a glass half full situation. this is definitely a glass half full situation. and if we can get our act together, we're in this body, on capitol hill, working with the president, all the key stake holders, you know, this can -- this can turn out a whole lot better than some are willing to believe just a few years ago. and part of the key to this is having folks on the board of governors. when people say to me what's your all-time favorite job, i tell them, my best job i ever had was at ohio state
university, where i was the pots and pans man. at the delta gamma sorority house. that was a great job. close second would be governor of delaware. i loved being governor. but which to serve -- i love being governor. i tell people i'm a recovering governor when they ask what i do. people who don't know me, i say i'm a recovering governor. some day i hope i have a chance to say you're recovering governors, too. you've been age to say this for awhile but i think you'll be a great addition to the board of governors. and we're going to try, dr. coburn, have a chance to talk tomorrow, and talk about how -- how he'd like to move forward and how we'd like to move forward and do it in a timely, timely way. with that say we're deeply grateful to each of you for your time and preparation today, for meeting with our half, for all the responses to their
respective bigraph can and financial questionnaires, answering freely the hearing questions submitted by our committee. you've had your financial statements reviewed by the office of government ethics, without objection this information will be made part of the hearing record, with the exception of the financial data which are on file and available for public inspection in the committee offices. without objection, the record will be kept open until 5:00 p.m. tomorrow for the submission of any written questions or statements for the records and i'm sure dr. coburn will have some additional questions and my guess is some of our colleagues will, too. and with that, it's a wrap. and we'll adjourn this hearing today. thank you again so much. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
>> "washington journal" continues. to discussng us now the crisis on the border is fawn johnson, a correspondent for "national journal." with us thising morning. guest: it's good to be here. how are you? host: i'm good. thank you. wondering if you could talk to us a little bit about the president he's budget request to deal with the immigration issue. guest: the president is essentially doing what he should when you start to see a surge that we have seen over the of kids coming across the border. we've had some 40,000 kids in the last six months or so, maybe eight months, coming from el salvador, and honduras. our law, all of those children, if they are deemed to be unaccompanied minors, meaning not with anybody can take care of them, they are all entitled to an immigration hearing. don'tturns out, we just have the resources to deal with that kind of number.
fiscal 2012 -- i brought my cheat sheet here -- it was only about 20,000. thanefore that it was less 10,000. so essentially we've seen an minors fromf these these three countries in central america, and particularly over you know, since january, october, it's been really high. from requested money congress to be able to deal with this. about half of it actually would the health and human services department to handle the kids, essentially to find themers for them, to give healthcare to take care of them. and then to also try and place them with a family member or sort of guardian here in the united states. doll haveem actually parents here -- do have parents here in the united states so they were reunited with their families. then there's other parts of the request that involve border security. he wants to beef up the number of people who can try and stop these kids from coming across the border. to addalso wants immigration judges and investigators to try to crack traffickin of the
trafficking -- traffickers -- the trafficking networks. word i was loo looking for, that are coming across. that's a lot in supplemental request. there are some people in congress who think that he's for too much. it's gotten embroiled in quickly.relatively it makes sense that he would be asking for this kind of money to anl with, essentially, unexpected surge in minors coming across the border. >> you wrote an article for "national journal." the headline is obama's plan to deal with unaccompanied minors immigrationng advocates. tell us about that response. guest: let's be clear. talkingt article is about is the statement from the homeland security secretary, jeh would like toe see a 2008 human trafficking law the minors whoat are coming from central america to not necessarily entitled an immigration hearing. advocates aretion
not actually upset about obama's supplemental request. wholeheartedlyre in support of it. but they are concerned about changing this trafficking law trafficking law, it passed in 2008, overwhelmingly. unanimous consent, both house and senate. and it was signed into law by premeditate. eh -- byte as a president bush as a way to protect children who find anmselves in a country in undocumented status. advocates are concerned about well,ministration saying, maybe they don't need a hearing. maybe we don't need to give them a hearing. maybe we can send them back to their home countries like we do with mexico. situation.cate the immigration advocates would actually prefer to see the human law boosted in the sense that they would like to see kids who come across the have anrom mexico also immigration hearing. host: some footage of nancy pelosi discussing the supplemental request as well as the changes to the 2008 law. we want to listen to her
comments. i'll get your take when we come back. >> i really do think all of this has to be done on a case-by-case basis. if somebody has a the-founded -- a refugee, purpose of the legislation that you're talking about altering was to address the trafficking issue. know, that law was passed practically unanimously in the house and the senate, signed by w. bush, one of the last bills he signed as the united states, a bill about values to stop the king.ic so quite frankly if they wanted woulde it uniform, i rather they treat the mexican kids the way they treat the non-contiguous country kids. really what's important is to the supplemental. what price we have to pay to do that, we'll see in the course of debate. but i would hope that they would
made that change. i don't think -- it's not a deal breaker. host: your thoughts? guest: well, i want to back up a little bit in case some of your viewers are a little confused about what happened with this law. i was confused until about a week ago. mexicanon why we treat children differently than we treat the people from the rest of the world in this particular law is that back in 2008 when the law passed, most of the kids coming across the border were from mexico. a small number came from other countries, but for the most part they were coming from mexico. the idea was, at the time, we tod it o come up with a way work with the mexican government such that they can take care of the children. so what happens to mexican they come across border is they are apprehended and taken care of. toy are interviewed determine whether they are victims of trafficking and whether they face any kind of mexico.t home in if it's clear that they've just been brought across the border
people who they paid or something like that and that there's not anything -- like their's threatening particular lives, then they are offered the ability to return to countries on a voluntary basis. now, there's some question about how that actually happens. it's done by the border patrol. and the border patrol, they are not child welfare specialists. but a lot of the kids do actually -- they opt for .oluntary removal they're also told that they won't be prosecuted for crossing illegally,untry won't be deported, no harm, no foul. and then they are returned into the mexican child welfare authorities. so they are not just dropped off stop somewhere or something like that. this was determined in the law. it was something that they put a especially for in mexico -- there's also -- canada also counts in this one but crosses the border in canada. so essentially work with the mexican governments.
those sameve agreements with any of the other countries in central america. i think there's some effort to try to work with those countries. we at this point if it wanted to -- the law doesn't even allow for this country to offer this option of voluntary removal to the people from are mexico.of that's the explanation of how this happened. confusing.le why are mexican kids treated differently than other kids? and you heardtes, this from the minority leader, nancy pelosi, say this never should have been the case in the place. all minors who come across the needr are vulnerable and an immigration hearing. they need to be taken seriously and they need to have somebody on theirdvocate behalf. and the border patrol just simply isn't equipped to do that. what we're dealing with. the only question is, do change a direction where everybody gets treated the same and that requires a lot of money
resources or do you treat all of the central theican children the way mexican children are treated? to -- nancyting pelosi says it's not a deal breaker, would prefer not to do if that's the price we have to pay for extra money at the border, we'll take it. host: fawn johnson, a correspondent for "national journal," asked to join us -- join owto join our conversatio- , florida,er paulette on the democrats' line. turn down your tv. you're on "washington journal" johnson. caller: hello. good morning. i'm commenting about the border.
from jamaica. 1998, we had the same situation in our country with there.fleeing and coming our country is a christian nation. we do, we wasn't standing go home, children. we take them in and take care of the until, you know, government decide what they do with them. america is shooting them self in the foot. world is watching. even jamaica calling, what's object, grandma? what's going on over there? those people don't have any compassion? you know? i don't understand. head aroundrap my what i see. guest: that's what i think a lot of people feel.
certainly we all have compassion for these children. partnk the most important about what this caller just was telling us is that it is true watching hole world is watching. if what we tell them is if you your children, we will reunit them with their familie families -- all indications are that you can stay. there are very few -- i think only been something like 1,800 deportations over the last year. talking almost 60,000 people. these are unaccompanied minors the border. it's a difficult situation. this is the problem that a lot of members of congress are talking about. if you're going to create the usression that if you send your children, we will accept them, people will send their children here. host: david is on the line for republicans from new jersey. comments.couple of i'll be very quick. please don't cut me off. johnson isl, ms.
everything that is wrong with journalism. independented to be and looked at this hard-nosed and be a reporter. liberalshe's another that wants us to take in the world. facts.st a couple of we are out of money. we are broke. are $17 trillion going o on $18 trillion in debt. you talk about compassion. all the kids, american kids, being killed in weekend?very we need to take care of our own people. not having journalists that are reporting not advocating? concerned,exico is why are we not coming down on kids spen letting spend 1,000-plus miles in their territory to drop themselves on america's doorstep and then talk compassion, we let in more legal immigrants than all the worldcountries in the
combined. guest: that's not true, sir. i'm sorry. i don't mean to interrupt you but that is not true. let in nearly enough legal immigrants which is the reason why people are crossing illegally. now, i give you credit for the understanding that this is an issue, but i have to stop you when it comes to facts. that's not true. please?may i finish, guest: sure. go ahead. caller: what i wanted to say is, why are we not coming down on mexico for letting people come over 1,000 miles on their territory and then drop the problem on america's doorstep? this is insane. we need to control our borders. no nation can exist without sovereignty. guest: well, as we can see, this is a very tough and emotional for people. i think this is the situation himself president finds in. how do deal with this situation?
absolutely true that the mexican authorities could probably do more, especially to border their southern because their southern border is where all of these kids are coming over. and it's absolutely true that we could work with them a little bit better to control their own situations. but keep in mind that we're countrywith our own here. right now we have -- if you look in a couple of different ways, first of all, we've got thousands of children who are sitting in detention that are makeshift right now. that shouldn't be happening. they onlyto law really need to be in those places for 72 hours. a lot of them are there for a lot longer. got to deal with that first. it's kind of like if you have a blown-out you have a tires what do fix first? you fix the problem at the border. deal with these kids and get them through. that's the money the president is requesting. it's also to boost up border security. it's what the caller said they wanted. working very is hard to try to figure out how to handle that situation. but as you can see, almost
that you can do will make everybody happy. host: congressman republican chairman of the house committee news. fox let's listen. >> i think we have to act soon. at hand that demands a call for action. it's a very tragic human crisis the border, none like i've ever seen before. so i think we need that before august recess. >> what do you think the chances are? action?'re going to get >> i think very good if we can have a targeted appropriations bill -- much would be willing to vote for? >> that's up to the appropriators. but i think it's going to be, limited to the end of this fiscal year rather than appropriation. 4% of the president's supplemental budget deals with border security. we think more should be allocated towards that. ofin, my bill that came out my committee deals with that in an accountable way with a two-year timeline to get
operation control of the border, which is what most people want. most americans want security first. >> are you prepared to vote for money to accommodate these children who have already crossed? >> i think we have to deal with this in a humane compassionate way but i'm not in favor of building large warehouses in the united states to warehouse these kids. we need to have deterrents. i think if we're going to build facilities, perhaps we should thek about doing that in countries of origin in central america where they can better children.these >> that won't be cheap, will it? deterrence.'s about it's about security. it's about dealing with these children in a humane, to return themay safely to home. host: fawn johnson, walk us through the comments. guest: i think this is probably measured republican response that you're going to find to this issue. when this supplemental request was on last week, i capitol hill and i heard much worse things about it.
republicans literally rolling their eyes at me. it was just -- they couldn't of money.e amount they had thought it was going to be $2 billion. it turned out to be almost twice that. trust the president at all. so when we listen to mike mccaul, it's important to notice thinking about this in probably the most rationale republicans can. he wants to deal with the children at the border. in saying is correct that -- does it make sense to build these large, permanent facilities to try and house these children? the reason why the president has asked for that is that it's to haveto do that than temporary housing. this is something the hhs secretary was telling week.riators last but at the same time, anything that you do that looks like it's just going to mean that more people are going to think that they should come. and there's already enough misinformation being floated around in central america. there are people who thought that june was a deadline, that they had to get here by june and they could stay here no
questions asked. mesa,next caller, jan in arizona, a republican and from a border state. caller: yes. border state. i have seen it get worse and worse and worse. ms. johnson. you were talking about the president's worked hard on all of these issues. bit.sn't helped us a i want to say something. i listened to "morning joe" this came on.efore you they were talking to a .ommentator he was on univision. after -- he made a statement. he goes, i don't know what republicans want. this president has deported more anybody.an but you guys don't tell the facts. more because he's the first president in this country that if they're stopped at the border, he calls it deported. we haven't got any help. i wish these kids would be sent to the hamptons. let's send them to cape cod. go spend the president's
family atith his martha's vineyard. send them to new york, all of these different northeast countries and you would see things that change overnight. we have been stuck with it. we pay for about 8,000, 10,000 babies. will the federal government doesn't give us back a dime in arizona. we put them in school, pay for their babies, to have more babies, more babies, more babies. can't leavey america because these are american babies. how could these mothers, if this american mother she would be thrown in jail sending her kid across the country. sick.es me we keep blaming the people of america. blame these mothers. them.sick of we have no tears for these people. guest: the caller is right about the deportation stuff. it is true that part of the reason why the deportations have increased dramatically under president obama is that they are cross the people who border illegally in different way than they did at the beginning of the obama
administration. i actually was walked through exactly how they do that one of the biggest processing facilities that they have. so she's right about that. also right about the fact that there are many people -- i borderhe people on the states, god bless all of you, really do have the right to complain about how much th the president has been able to do. has been, and we all know this, that the president wants immigration immigrations a big reform that would allow some form of legalization for people here and meety certain qualifications. but he's being blocked by congress.s in the thing that advocates are upset about is that he is not own. enough on his i think that's also something that republicans are concerned about. they don't necessarily trust the homeland security is doing everything it can to stop people from coming across the border. said, they need a lot more money if they're going to be able to do that. and that is something at the nots of congress and
necessarily the president. i think the frustration goes all around. the border states really do have a legitimate complaint here. host: talk a little bit more about the trafficking victims protection act. about how --ed unaccompanied minors across the border. i'm curious if you're able to tell us how much of that has to do with that law or is there some other kind of force? guest: this is a tough question that is hard to answer. really know why all of these kids started coming across -- we can trace the fact increased dramatically over the last couple of years. so dramatic over the last -- since the beginning of this fiscal year and in october patrol actually had to rejigger its estimates. back and sayto go whatever we told you is going to happen. actually that's not going to happen. pretty dramatic. why? well, i think there's a couple of reasons.
that there is a ridiculous amount of violence in these three countries, theicularly honduras, murder capital of the world. there are parents here in the onted states and here undocumented status who want to bring those kids here as quickly as possible, especially the the girls, as soon as they start to become teenagers targets for all kinds of violence that we don't really want to talk about. so they need to get them out of happens.ry before that so that's one reason. i think it's a legitimate reason understand.need to this is a pseudo war zone that we're talking about here. is true that it there is an impression inside -- the country, from it in these communities that people who come here can stay. out.ars there are people who cross the live hereegally and in undocumented status. then they bring their children up. are refugee situations. they can go to refugee
get help, getto healthcare. and they're all set up just for purpose. the more that they state -- their immigration hearings take years. there's no reason to think if you bring your kid up here, that here.on't be able to stay there's probably a good chance that they can. there's that impression. i think this is the uncomfortable truth that the administration is having to deal with. what you do. how do try and say that you're going to take care of kids and way, you is a, by the really can't stay here when, in fact, that's exactly what's happening. host: new york, robert on the independents. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i think the american people are very frustrated with the fact that the politicians, especially the president, have been lying for years telling us that the border is secure when it's not. virtually secure any border. it's not going to work.
the united states has been pumping money into these south american countries and mexico for years trying to help the people down there. they all have corrupt governments. we have no oversight over the money that's going down there. these politicians that are down and the police forces and the military are ripping the money off. high on theliving hog. and then we're supposed to feel sorry for these people that are countries.se the aclu lawyer that was on c-span on saturday was advocating for this $3.8 billion that the president asked for. acluondering why the lawyer never sued the federal government on behalf of the american people 20 years ago when there was money allocated in a law passed for them to nevera fence which was built and never finished so that these people that are coming that little river down there and walking off and themselves over can't get in. if there's a fence there, they in.t be able to get
they leave that border open. that's the excuse that they use. to use ourey want us tax money to take care of these kids. many americann so people myself on food stamps in we'reire life and supposed to worry about people from other country that are coming here. it's ridiculous. .here's no jobs here we're slowly trying to get out of this recession. ask us to now take in millions and millions more countries andher open our hearts is just not fair to us. guest: what can you say to that? . think that's absolutely right the issue about the border, let's talk about that for a second. caller is right. there was a bill passed to create a border fence years ago has never been fund. but i will also say i have been to the border and have seen the there.hat they have up you can actually see the hand prints of people who can climb
it. this.t know how they do there's no way that i can imagine myself doing it. amazing what kind of resources these people who are desperate will come up with. the issue that we're trying to understand. the border itself in a way it's porous. are parts of it where there are no fences, but also the groundensors in that as soon as somebody steps on it, they'll send people out there. they've got air patrol that is going over all the grounds people.for it's pretty impressive. now, not every sector of the is like that for sure, but it's a harder issue than fence.ilding a as much as the people who would like to see that happen have a want tote reason to build it, there are still people who will come across. host: our guest is fawn johnson, correspondent at "national journal." let's take a question from e-mail now.
guest: good question. he's right. actually, it's interesting. only difference between asylum refugee,ee is that a their case is considered inside country. asylum is considered outside the .ountry i think the best way to explain that is that we don't have the processes set up in the central american countries probably like should. asylum cases are generally meant .or ground warfare you know, the kinds of strife that would happen when an entire being tried tois be wiped out. this is not the case as in america. it's one gang versus another. i don't know how you accommodate. that. would make some sense for the various -- for john ofry to try to set up some these in the home country to see if there's a way to deal with some of these kids.
that a lot them would not qualify. cases are based on a credible fear of threat to you as a person not just that you're place.in a dangerous so i think if you feel like your good 50 at the -- 50/50 at the ambassador, you might -- at the embassy, you might want to try it. they say no, you probably still try to make the trip. jay on the line for republicans. caller: good morning. how are you? host: good morning. coming i appreciate you on and giving a different side of the story and a little more what's going on. it's hard to understand railingly. it's such a large -- understand.hard to caller: one thing i wanted to understand. billemocrats -- there's a in the house that it passed a while back with president bush trafficking the sex issue. modified so that they can't use the turnaround addressed but yet
the democrats are fighting tooth and nail to try to change that can be returned. i just want to know what the motivation is of the democratic to keep these children in the united states other than humanitarian because it's just as humanitarian to send them back and take care of them back try tos it is to establish something here. the way it is right now, where they're living in warehouses which is disgusting. the last thing i want to say is you kind of showed your hand in one comment that you were about a lady and the dangers of their children. and you said we need to bring them here. and you were referring to young girls. we don't need to bring them here. onneed to fix what's going so that they don't have to come here. you let your hand show in that comment. you. guest: just to be clear with you, i think that i was to what some of the advocates are saying, ones like thehe aclu or some of these women's advocates that they have.
theyyeah, that's what think. they think we need to bring them here and keep them safe. person's opinion or one group's opinion. there's others like yourself who think that perhaps they should stay. that's just one point to be made clear. thing tohe other remember is that there are democrats who are fighting the thisof changing trafficking law, but there are others like nancy pelosi, the leader of the democrats in the house, that says if it we have to change the law, it's not a deal breaker. personally know some immigration advocates who are idea ofpset about the changing that trafficking law. one democrat who actually it, dianne feinstein of california, gave a really moving thech last week in appropriations committee just talking about the reason why it passed. one of the things she described minors, young people, 13, 14 years old in chains, you know, crying before immigration judge, not understanding what's going on. she said, when i saw that, saw
personally, she said i just couldn't let that happen. so there's a lot of emotions on both sides going through this. i think it may be one of the that theicult things president has to deal with in his presidency. tough. really host: illinois, teresa on the .ine for democrats caller: good morning. question.ve a i have what i think might be a solution to the situation. very sad at, i'm the anger of my fellow american issue.s around this what i'm thinking of is the in syria and what is happening with jordan and turkey countries who are taking in the refugees, the children and the adults. turning them away and saying go back to that danger zone? what i'd like to propose is that citizens,istian
possibly, would christ turn away peril?ldren who are in would he be so money conscious? i don't think so. therefore, my solution is i've called my senator and a couple inother representatives their office, senator durbin here in illinois, i've opened up home. i'm a senior citizen. i'm a youthful senior citizen on security. i have a home. i have a bedroom. those children here and whoever is accompanying offer a respite and a haven for them in the meantime. my solution to my fellow american citizens. ms. fawn, i'm really sad, that people are angry with you. my goodness. you're just there talking about facts. thank you so much. guest: thank you for that. that's verythink
generous offer of you. i know that there are other people in the country who feel exactly as you do, that they a prominentally, democrat, martin o'malley, the governor of maryland, said over the weekend that he thought the children should be allowed to stay. he broke with the president on that. so there are a number of people feel that way. it's just a question of -- this is the fundamental question that deal withy has had to since the beginning, since people started coming here. how many can we bring in? many can we accommodate? what do we owe them? and what do we owe ourselves? no easy answer to that question. but i think what is nice to see is that there are people who are to figure out how to accommodate them. there will need to be some way though.it, you can't invite the entire country's children into this just don'tause we have the resources to help them. host: related comment from twitter.
the thing -- i, think the most dramatic change of 2008 trafficking law was that they actually -- that's what they did. analyze whether or not a child was in danger and then they would put them in foster care. to require the health and human services department when they are dealing ath a child to actually find relative or some sort of guardian inside the country. it turns out almost 3/4 of the have come across in an unaccompanied status are reunited with some form of member. and almost half of them are parents.with their i think this was -- people really were very excited about this because they thought it more sense than trying to put abandoned children in foster care. care, sure.er but if they have a mom here who is work and who can take them, why not put them with their mother? host: absolutely. phoenix, arizona. border stateine,
resident. caller: how are you doing? ofe you heard any reports people that get deported being shot as they get off the plane homethey're in their country? guest: i have not heard anything about that. but keep in mind when they are eturned, they are returned with with -- i'm speaking not just of minors but of people who are theirlly planed back to home cubt rise. -- countries. they are taken with the people the department of homeland security and are -- if they are children, they are released into of some sort of other official. so it's kind hard to have that happen. certainly, what happens to them don't know.we but at least initially when the andoff happens, it happens in safe environment. host: stevens point, wisconsin. republicans.ne for caller: how do you do? i say a very simple solution. they're illegal. no matter how long they're here. hey need to be deported, period period. as for the lady who just called about being christian and
fine lady but a we have american children appalacia. the she can open her home to the american children? all back and they won't keep coming. .f we hold our borders we keep them away. period. let them take care of themselves. you. guest: and that was something yoursenator jeff lake, senator from arizona, had said last week. nothing that's will deter families from sending anir kids up north than entire plane load of children coming right back after you spent thousands of dollars to spend them up here. what a number of republicans are calling for. they've been calling for it for years, let's be clear, even before this border search happened with minors. they've been saying we really on the be harsher deportations, particularly for people who are caught so that we the impression that you can't come and stay. but the reality is that it's
impossible to do that with all the people who are here. they really do met into the landscape. landscape.o the as much as the enforcers would like to ferret them out, it's very difficult to do. mean we shouldn't try. it just means it's very complicated and requires monday sometimes --that money and resource that sometimes need to go to other places. host: north carolina, steve on line.mocrats caller: good morning. i would like to make a comment situation.whole the fact is, war on drugs which a total drain and has of these people in south america zillions of theses to take over countries and run them like they want to run. and that's why these kids are coming. if you want to stop this, stop the war on drugs. off.hose people's money it will stop the whole deal. thanks.
guest: actually, it is drug wars flee.re causing people to it is also the drug smugglers, border in along the arizona that are causing people to cross the border. cartels that the border security people are time.g with all the i've heard a number of people mention the drug car when they talked about this. i think there was one congressman that i was talking to last week who said something you know, ifes of, we could stop americans from using the drugs, that would help cartels. and i thought, wow, that's about as easy as, you know, finding everybody who's here without papers and deporting them. .oint well taken and the question is, does a drug as,amount to the same thing say a war between two different ethnic groups that are warring in africa? i don't know. that that's a question that congressmen and the with.ent are grappling
host: another question from twitter. guest: you ask them. the people who are dealing with them, particularly the ones from the hell and human services department -- health and human services department, they can speak spanish well enough that talk to the children. you don't really know. a lot of it deals with interviews. are.pends on how old they the thing that i find interesting is that there's a of peopled network here in the united states with their home countries. much theyng how communicate back and forth. everybody has cell phones these days. like -- your mother has paid for you come across the border. you probably have your cell phone number. i think that that's how we learn about these things. all you have to do to find out whether or not somebody is illegal is just ask them if they have papers. and if they don't, i think we to that answer question. host: new haven, connecticut.
republicans.or -- on the line for republicans. caller: good morning. morning on the fox business channel on the "don who show" he had a guest asked a question that i had never heard asked before. relevant. is very he said -- what about the children in africa? in nigeria? what about the children in israel? what they are going on with today? somalia.ren in it is not our business as to how managed.ngs are as a former guest said, it is the advocates, with the pro noun we, the advocates want to bring the children here to take care they get a make sure better life. well, why don't you organize you advocatesl of who are really operating from the motive of racism and ethnic bigotry, why don't you organize
thoselves go to countries, and help those children become better citizens their countries? and theigotry, basism, policy -- racism, and the policy of the obama administration. been goingities have on in these other countries for years. years. why now? why do we ever a surge? the president promised to close fix the border. and now he sits there after he administration organized this en masse of children? to "don imus show" about maybe an hour ago. diedl, on his show, asked the question. guest: in countries in africa have asylum, we do policies and refugee policies for those people. so as a country -- the caller disagree with this decision. but as a country we have decided to take in people who are
real strife and violence in their home countries. the only problem is i don't anticipated 40,000 children in the course of nine months. in the central american countries. so that's a decision that we have made. the other thing that i would ofe just in the sense advocates is that one of the groups that has been doing a lot on this and that i've beebeen talking with that deals with these refugees a lot is a angelina jolieby and microsoft. aboutout the kids and trying to get them some legal rights because we realize they a vulnerable population. they are different from people who cross the border who are --lts who,
time last night that everyone is a little slow coming in this morning. have we had a great time this morning. [applause] wifenor haslam and and his have done such a wonderful job in planning. we had productive meetings throughout the day and we have had wonderful entertainment. i don't think we have ever had the opportunity to go to one place and see so many superstars as we did last night. talent and history and theater. it was so much fun.
have hadnor and i quite the rivalry because he has invited a lot our oklahoma talent to perform. that is not sitting very well with me. we will work it out. are happy to have a shared love of music and entertainment we appreciate the governor and tonight, we have another special evening in which we will be going to the hermitage and the wonderful historic place -- our past presidents. we will have another oklahoma talent, carrie underwood playing. i raised them up and then he gets to have them for a while. tonight, it will be an outdoor event. be sure to wear something company cool because it might be able warm. i would like to thank our executive committee members that work very hard all during the year getting prepared for both the summer meeting and the
midwinter meeting that we had in february. we want to start with our vice-chairman of the nga. think you very much. it has been a great pleasure to work with you. tomorrow is your day to take over. it has been a lot of fun working with john. we have been to each other in whether it'ses, been on education or energy policy. that is what the national governors association is about working together to try to find solutions that we can all agree upon. i want to thank our former nga , governor jack markel from delaware. governor branstad. some of these people have been in committee this point. morning. governor herbert, we appreciate.
governor scott walker, thank you very much for being on the executive committee. we appreciate them. i think i got an everybody. thank you very much. grateful that the vice president came yesterday. we have been reading through the press clips this morning. if you didn't know how important governors are carnation in getting us back on track, it's interesting to read the vice president's headlines. d.c. bemoans bitterness in we heard that yesterday. that was a lot of fun. biden calls upon the nation's governors to help end the era of poisonous politics. we are grateful.
vice president biden asks governors to help during national trip. once again calling upon the governors. . bident one more here calls upon governors to lead the nation. you like that, guys? i think that's pretty good. it's wonderful having the vice president here. here is another one. biden to governors: only you can save us. [laughter] [applause] we do have a lot of work to do as a nation. that's why the national governors association is about pulling both political parties together and having us build a stronger national economy. i want to start by beginning to talk about my chair possibly should have -- chair's
initiative. picking out a particular issue i t washt important. i chose education and training for tomorrow's jobs. america works is not making significant improvements to our education system and our workforce training program and aligning those systems with the needs of business and our label or market. it's an issue that's critical to our states and economic success. it is certainly important to the united states and our nations economy. this is an education initiative and a workforce initiative, but also a jobs initiative. all of ouro help states achieve prosperity. it begins by recognizing some very simple truths. today's world is more complex and is changing faster than
ever. since the time our parents were growing up, especially with technology and all the ways companies change so very rapidly and have to be able to adjust. those changes are making new demands on students, employees, employers and our state leaders. individuals need more education and work skills for today's jobs . businesses need a deeper, more diverse talent workforce. states must make very targeted investments in the workforce make sure we are helping to spur economic growth. in order to be able to compete at the state and national levels , we have to adapt to an ever-changing economy. as governors, we are in the key position because we are response will for the education systems in our states and responsible for economic development.
responsible for creating jobs and a stronger economy in our state. we are uniquely positioned to be able to lead this effort and lead our nation back and build a stronger connection but when our employees and employers and industry. the leadership begins with starting to recognize the very simple truths and understand the challenges we face as governors. all, as a nation, we are losing ground internationally. both terms of our students competitiveness and our workforce. it is not necessarily because we are getting worse, but because our competitors are moving ahead quicker than the united states. while we were once the world leader in student achievement for 15-year-olds in our nation, reading,nk 20 thin
23rd in science and 30th in math among the 34 industrialized nations in the world. from 2012 are much lower than they were from the time of 2008. we have lost ground versus making up ground. we cannot expect to be able to lead the world in innovation and job creation if we can't keep up academically. nor can we provide our citizens access to a middle-class life were beyond if they don't have access to good paying jobs. when i started this initiative last year, i shared with all of fewer jobs inthat our economy are available to individuals that only have a high school degree. we talked about the importance of having more than a high school degree to be able to compete. listen to you just to
this fact. today, 35% of the jobs in our economy are filled by people with high school diplomas or less. did you catch that? only 35% of the jobs in america require a high school degree or less. two thirds of those jobs will pay less than $25,000 a year. that is not going to lead one to a good living wage. based upon these facts come i'm more convinced than ever that education beyond high school degree is critical. people either need a two-year degree, four year degree or some type of workforce training certification. that is now the new minimum of educational attainment level for a successful, good paying job in .ur nation and in our states unfortunately, the u.s. is falling behind. failing ourare
students and our citizens and we ourfailing our states and nation. here are more unpleasant truths and challenges we face. too many students still don't finish high school. only 70% of our public high school students make it to graduation. the percentage is much worse when you look at minorities or lower income students. today, students who go to college or underprepared. many of them have to take remediation courses when they begin their first year in college. too many employers continue to tell us as governors that they can't find the employees they need to expand and grow their businesses and create those jobs. as governors, we have to create pathways to prosperity to the middle class on the notion that a post secondary education is no longer a luxury for some, but in in necessity to help
our employers find the higher skilled workforce they need to be successful. for the american people to be able to achieve the american dream and reach the middle class. today's fast-paced world, those pathways have to be more flexible and have to be innovative and efficient. they have to be able to reflect of ever-changing needs our nations economy. it will require us as governors working very closely with our leaderss and education and industry sectors and workforce training programs and the private sector itself so that we can build education develop work skills that are relevant to today's jobs. most importantly, we have to also be able to meet the needs of our students. and make sure we're putting them on the right pathway. the challenge is very clear.
the one that we face. too few americans are succeeding in posting their education and to view of our students are graduate from high school careerd to enter into a or college self. we have some goals that are important if we are to continue to move forward. first, our states must continue to develop high academic standards. all governors are committed to higher academic standards to make sure that our high school students are ready to enter into college or enter into a trade school or enter into a career without remediation by th. to help work on successful programs like complete college america in which we can have more degree completion in our workforce and be able to help our students and our returning adults who want to
go back to school and better themselves and want to have a different type of career so they can successfully complete a degree or enter into some type of career training program that will lead them to better jobs. states are going to have to work very closely together. with education leaders, the private sector and public policy makers to close the skills cap. we hear a lot about the skills gaps we have in our nation. we want to better align our education systems to meet the needs of our employers. america works and its initiative is about identifying components that will help us reach these goals and attain these different things we need to reach. first of all, as governors, we have to be able to articulate a very clear message to our people back in our states. that connects education, connects the dots, basically. kenexa results with our state's
economy. connects results with our states county. if you don't know where you don't know where you're going, anywhere will get you there. we have to gather data and information and we have to know where we are. we have to track the progress itself and be able to measure the results so we can know that we're are getting the results we need to have. we have to create high-quality public-private partnerships. that is something great we have been doing all across the nation and you will see that in this report. we have to have more flexibility with our federal and state funding and our incentives we have and other resources we can better realign our education and workforce training programs in the nation. over the past year, my initiative, america works, has brought together governors, education leaders, employers, workforce training programs, economic development professional leaders, private
sectors so we can spur innovation and have collaboration and have a national conversation about how we can create the vibrant economy, more opportunities, raise up the middle class and give our children the opportunities they need so they can be successful. here is the result. over the past year, we have d 31-on-one meetings to talk about best practices that are already underway across our nation. .e hosted to regional summits one in connecticut. thank you very much for hosting the first summit for us. one in new mexico. i was also proud to be joined by governor herbert. thank you so much for coming. we appreciate that.
we released an interim report at the winter meeting that described to governors about the program itself and the benefits. ae benefits of having i better educated workforce. provided you with specific data and information so that you could look at your current educational attainment levels. look at your current industries and businesses. we could identify those areas where we mismatched. where we have a skills gap within our different economies. we also heard from one of our , the ceoin our nation duringame to speak to us our winter meeting. he articulated that we need a better educated skilled workforce in our nation. national summit in
oklahoma city. we presented the various components for our comprehensive aproach so we could develop type line of workers for our states economies. i was very proud to be joined by governor branstad and governor nixon. thank you very much for joining me in oklahoma city. we have had a very productive time this past year meeting with all of our various officials in bringing together all of our state leaders. it has been a great year on america works. i frankly think it is probably one of the most important issues that our nation faces right now and we're very proud of the tremendous work that the national governors association has done on our behalf. excuse me just a moment. i'm looking for my next
paper here. what i wanted to show you was the book itself. each of you have a copy of this on your desk. it lists all the different components and has some great examples of what is being done across our nation. thatnderful guideline will be helpful to all of us and i'm proud to present this to all of you and glad to have it. fourbook also describes policy components and lays out the elements within each component that you can take and use as a guideline. ideas you can implement in individual states. provides examples and illustrates the best practices and offers guiding ideas and answers a lot of questions that policymakers have to help us be able to set priorities in our states.
all this andlude introduce our speaker, i want to thank all of our foundations that have made america' works possible. it is a lot of work to put this information and data together and host the summit. ge foundation, carnegie library of new york, .ayer corporation, mattel all the foundations that provided financial support, expertise and help us be able to together --iative helped us be able to put the initiative together. finally, in closing this session , we have to have gubernatorial leadership. i can produce a report and we can have meetings across the nation. we hav can outline the steps and
components, but it's all up to you. it's up to the governors across the nation to be able to take this great information and learn from each other. it is one of my favorite things at this meeting. when the governors come together and they talk about what is happening in each of their inevitable states, -- individual states, we are doing great things as governors. this report proves that governors are taking the lead in crating jobs and opportunities and are focusing on education, workforce training programs and listening to our employers across the nation that are telling us that they have job openings and skills gaps. thank you all for your input and work on this report. we are looking forward to implement it. -- implementing it. [applause] now, we are going to move on to
the next session of our program. steve. like to introduce he is the group chief executive of north america for accenture. thes is possible for overseeing of accenture's business in the united states, which is the company's largest market. he is also in canada. he works to ensure that the company remains well-positioned for continuous growth in import ant markets. to assuming his current position, steve served for five years as the group chief executive of the health and public service operating group. under his leadership, they delivered double-digit revenue growth in 2012 and 2013. asween 2004-2009, he served companywideing
national excellence. we are very fortunate to have experience not only is what we have been talking about all along, but actually it in thek on private sector. let's give a national governors warm welcome to steve . [applause] you.ank we appreciate it. -- i'm fromank austin, texas. we pride ourselves on life music. it after last nights show, i know